How much drag are you pulling on BLF over 150 lbs. Assume 100 lb. line or more.

2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
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Name
Rod Lathrop
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24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
2 weeks ago on Tomahawk. 7'6" UC Viper/Mak 20, 700 yards 100# JB metered braid, 15' 100# Okuma Fluorostretch tied direct to a 12/0 Eagle Claw 2004 G Circle Hook. 300 Gram SK Zebra Glow bridled to the hook. Same rig for all 3 BFT.

The biggest (185#) fish took it on the drop 260' down. Went to 30# of drag for the first run, approximately 200 yards. Bumped it up to 33# of drag until the fish was within 100' of the boat. Finished the fight at 40# of drag. 19 minutes bite to gaff.

Similar drag on the next 2 fish, 1 take on the drop, 1 take on the crank, 120# and 125#. Probably 100 yards or less on the first run @ 30# of drag. Finished the fights again at 40# of drag. 9 minutes bite to gaff for each of the smaller fish.



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Jankity I measure each rig at near Strike (first run), Strike, Near Full and Full. I write these numbers on a piece of white duct tape and wrap it around the butt of the rod. Each day I re-test just the Strike value; if it is correct then I assume the others numbers haven't changed. I'm wonky over-think everything; gives me something to do at home before the trip!
 
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Jankity
Jankity
How do you know what pound of drag you have during different parts of the fight, and how did you measure it before going on the trip? I presume you know pounds at strike, but what about in between that and full?
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woodfish330

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  • Aug 14, 2012
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    Brother your sooooo right. Put the hammer down. Every second they're in the water.... odds of losing them increases. I for one believe in "breaking" the SPIRIT of the fish as soon as possible. You have to be the BULLY! Hurt them right away.... youll be glad you did.

    I have had the.pleasure of fishing with many of our industries Founders / Greats.... one thing they ALL agree on.... use every thing to your advantage. And why not.... the fish is. So many other anglers around you.... some sleeping at the wheel..... some on their game.... it doesn't take much to cross over... "jerk".... GONE.

    How many times have you .... and all the other passengers ....had to wait for "that" guy....you know the one.... had Big gear... a Big fish.... and 15 lbs of drag... the whole fight. He got bit by accident.... in a quick "puddler" ...that just kept on going. So.... for the couple of hours.... we've all been waiting.... while he tries to get his fish. Finally it happens. Not gaining any line. Frustration.... fatigue.... and "snap"!! Hammering the drag ...this late in the fight never pays. Do it early.

    Advanced techniques allow a wise angler to "steer" is fish when necessary. That drag on your reel is for more than just stopping fish. Combined with the natural motion of the boat and proper rod leverage.... with proper timing... you can move fish away from "high" risk areas or individuals. Do what you have to do.... but put the HAMMER down.

    Great post and picts.
     
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    2Rotten
    2Rotten
    Yes you are So Right! Work them every second. Make the angles work in your favor. I was ready to go to "Full" (45#) on the drag if Brad (Deck Hand) said to; wasn't necessary. My connections (FG knot/Rizutto Finish/5-turn San Diego Jam) held perfectly. The C-Hook was wrapped around the corner of the jaw on all 3 BFT.
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    hucklongfin

    Deep release specialist
    Jul 3, 2003
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    If the hook is going to pull, I'd rather it happened in the first couple of minutes rather than an hour into the fight!
     
    W
    woodfish330
    Brother....said so well. "TAKE EM OR BREAK EM" has always been my moto. If your break off early.... you weren't gonna get that fish in a prolonged fight anyways. At least now.... you can get a bait back in the water while the fish are still here... increasing your chances of at least one "landed" during that particular stop.
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    ZZZZZ

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    Dec 11, 2003
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    Brother your sooooo right. Put the hammer down. Every second they're in the water.... odds of losing them increases. I for one believe in "breaking" the SPIRIT of the fish as soon as possible. You have to be the BULLY! Hurt them right away.... youll be glad you did.

    I have had the.pleasure of fishing with many of our industries Founders / Greats.... one thing they ALL agree on.... use every thing to your advantage. And why not.... the fish is. So many other anglers around you.... some sleeping at the wheel..... some on their game.... it doesn't take much to cross over... "jerk".... GONE.

    How many times have you .... and all the other passengers ....had to wait for "that" guy....you know the one.... had Big gear... a Big fish.... and 15 lbs of drag... the whole fight. He got bit by accident.... in a quick "puddler" ...that just kept on going. So.... for the couple of hours.... we've all been waiting.... while he tries to get his fish. Finally it happens. Not gaining any line. Frustration.... fatigue.... and "snap"!! Hammering the drag ...this late in the fight never pays. Do it early.

    Advanced techniques allow a wise angler to "steer" is fish when necessary. That drag on your reel is for more than just stopping fish. Combined with the natural motion of the boat and proper rod leverage.... with proper timing... you can move fish away from "high" risk areas or individuals. Do what you have to do.... but put the HAMMER down.

    Great post and picts.

    Forgot to quote you. Like your style

    It comes down to eventually breaking the spirit to land the fish. Some giant tuna are tougher then others like humans. Plus gear and how the fish is hooked, helps allot

    My only slow troll dead flyer fish at HB 2004. 2 kites slow trolled during a lull with scattered giants chasing day time HB flyers.

    2 hooked baits tandem per kite for 4 baits total. 300# Seaguar and a huge Jobu hook. My bait was closest to the boat. This (should had weighed this larger) flew out of the water. I was standing about 3 feet from the starboard corner. As the line came tight the boat was still moving. I litteraly almost went over board. Approximately 10 feet at the most of line came off the reel

    The thing is. A heavy cowkiller crew member sett my drag for 300# Seaguar inserted into 200# JB hollow, penn 80 granny gear, baja boomer. After I asked him to check my drag he reset the drag and turned the nob more then one full rotation with the lever a tad more up then my setting. For the slow troll kite. That's heavy I was age 27 and nervous. When that crew looked away, I backed the drag off scared. While wrapping my shirt around my hand to pull line off the reel without a line cut to see where I set it

    Would had been a 8 minute fish if I didn't back the drag off LOL The prop wash was still lingering when the fish was gaffed

    300#, Penn 80 with granny gear. Giant Jobu hook. Breaks the spirit

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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    My bad. This was the slow troll dead flyer HB 10 minute fish. That almost pulled me over board when the line came tight.

    As kite tight slow troll spectra flown can be seen. Maybe that Caballito fish above was a Cow LOL

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    Mr. DRE

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  • Sep 23, 2019
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    This past weekend I fished 35lbs of drag on ATD super 12 with custom UC Viper 76. Fishing 220 gram jig on 200 leader with 130 spectra, hooked a nice fish easy 200 pounder and brought it to gaff in about 10 minutes. That was the easy part, the first gaff went in the fish towards the rear when the second gaff went in a split second later the fish thrashed and broke the first gaff which kicked the second gaff free and dove again. The broken gaff stayed in the fish as I continued to fight it but the gaff must of chaffed the line cause it broke the spectra about 30 seconds into the second fight. Consensus was the fish was too green and was brought up too quickly. I backed off the drag to 25 lbs of drag and landed a few more avg time was about 25 minutes without additional issues. So I guess more drag is not always better.
     

    woodfish330

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  • Aug 14, 2012
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    Brother..... putting that fish on the deck is team.work in the end. You did your part.... maybe a wiser gaff shot.... maybe a better presentation angle... for the crew to get the "right" shot...youll never know. But its unwise for any person to shot a lion on the paw..... and expect him to capitulate....lol. Some crews... in the heat of the moment..... make mistakes. There....I said it. Dont see it often.... after that incident.... probably made sure ALL the others stuck in the "target" areas.... made it over the rail. Sometimes fishing cruel brother. Thanks for posting as well.
     
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    ZZZZZ

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    Dec 11, 2003
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    Yep as soon as a gaff rips. Back the drag off, immediately.

    Clipperton night fish, I was not there but a buddy and crew was, Jesus stuck a honest 280. That was still full of piss and vinegar. Hyper extended a thumb. Full whitewater. Great story to hear on the way out to Clipperton attol. The fish was lost

    A really heavy ripped a few gaffs at Clipperton Atoll. So the story says. One floated back up looking like a whisking broom. The bamboo cured gaff

    This BFT sunset downer. On fairly light line. A crew overly anxious and tries to land my fish 1 minute early, dug and stuck the fish deep in the water. Ripped the gaff. Got lucky. And got the fish. 3 day trip my only fish. Less then 1 fish per angler

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    Let em eat 74

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    Honestly after all the times I’ve been owned by a big fish I hooked on 40# I take great pleasure in beating them up with 35# at strike then pushing it to full way too early. Of course that’s given that I got them on the appropriate hook size and coincidentally why I prefer to bridle my jigs.

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    George Mara

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    Apr 22, 2015
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    Question for you guys that know exactly how much drag you’re fishing. You measuring it or just estimating?
     
    2Rotten
    2Rotten
    Spring scale; confirmed by the Deck Hand. Checked daily while fishing.
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    Tugboat64
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    As said, spring scale but after setting them so long you get a feel for what the drag is close to by hand
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    Jankity

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    Apr 23, 2019
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    Gurjeet S. Rai
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    How do you guys know what pound of drag you have during different parts of the fight? I presume you know pounds at strike, but what about in between that and full? Do you measure those as well?
     
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    Mr. DRE

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  • Sep 23, 2019
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    I use scale to set drags at strike then check again at 3/4 of the way to strike and again at half. While it may not be exact it gives me a good estimate of where I am at all times. When I fish jigs or sinker rig and I get bit I do not jam the reel into full strike on the hook set. Instead, I set the lever at about half drag and let the fish do its first run to get an idea what I’m up against. Then during the run I’ll adjust the drag as needed and usually end up between 1/2 and 3/4 most of the fight until I get the fish straight down doing circles then I go to strike and pinwheel the fish upwards.
     

    Pacific Jigger

    You’ll never know unless you go
    Sep 16, 2019
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    the first gaff went in the fish towards the rear when the second gaff went in a split second later the fish thrashed and broke the first gaff which kicked the second gaff free and dove again.
    Notice where the fish was hit first? Any experienced gaff or wire man knows as an article of holy writ that the first place a fish is hit with either a gaff or harpoon is forward of the pectorals, preferably the head. Control the head and you control the fish. Fish go where their head is pointed, especially tuna. They don't have a real tight turning radius.
    On the other hand, when you hit them back near their motor, anything can happen and as you unfortunately experienced, often does when the fish is still full of piss and vinegar.
    So I guess more drag is not always better.
    I disagree completely. You fought that fish hard and fast, and had him where he needed to be in a timely manner. That's exactly how it should work. I realize some of the above posts are according the crew the benefit of the doubt, but the fact is, they screwed the pooch. More specifically, the first gaffer screwed it, and the other deckhand was left to try and rescue the situation. While I don't fish sportboats, gaffing is universal. On my boat, the most experienced guy available always takes the first shot, especially on larger fish. Sometimes it's much more advantageous to let the fish come around again to ensure the first hit goes where it's supposed to than to take the first less than ideal opportunity. This is where an experienced guy on the first gaff really pays off. Watch closely how careful the long range deckhands are about first gaff placement on big yellowfin. They deal with large fish regularly and are very aware of what happens when it isn't right.
     
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